Keratoconus is a progressive, corneal degeneration which causes irregular thinning of the cornea, the clear outer surface of the eye. Keratoconus usually affects both eyes and usually develops during teenage or young adulthood.
Symptoms of keratoconus include a frequent change in glasses and decreased vision. While the cause of keratoconus is largely unknown, both genetic and environmental factors are associated with its development. Keratoconus is often associated with eye rubbing and eye allergies and can be familial in inheritance.
Keratoconus Treatment in San Jose
Depending on the severity of keratoconus, treatment options can vary. Mild cases can often be corrected with glasses, soft contact lenses or rigid gas permeable contact lenses. As the disease progresses and vision deteriorates, other treatments may become necessary to help your eyes focus properly.
More severe cases may require partial or full-thickness corneal transplants. Healthy corneal tissue from a donor is used to replace your diseased cornea. There are three layers of the cornea, each of which can be transplanted separately or the entire cornea may be replaced.
Corneal cross-linking through surgery is another treatment option for keratoconus. The shape and strength of your cornea can be affected with eye drops and UV lights. Keratoconus surgery can improve your ability to focus and may slow the deterioration of your vision.
Another option for treating keratoconus are Intacs. They are special lenses that can be surgically implanted in your eye. Intacs flatten the corneal curve to improve vision. While Intacs reshape the cornea to prevent bulging, they do not slow the progression of the disease. Intacs are used to temporarily improve vision in keratoconus patients.
Living with Keratoconus
Excessive eye rubbing can be an early sign of keratoconus and it can cause the disease in people who are predisposed to it. Rubbing your eyes can weaken the outer layer of the cornea, causing it to change shape. It is essential that all patients with keratoconus not rub their eyes, so as not to exacerbate the condition.